Boho Chic on the Cheap

Laughing

I’m a true believer in mixing high and low pieces when it comes to fashion. Truth – I hadn’t shopped at Forever 21 in a few years, but after a recent stop at the trendy store, I couldn’t believe I came home with five fantastic pieces. So, it’s back on my radar. Featured today is this flowy embroidered Forever 21 Top, and it’s only $23. I also picked up two great summer dresses, that I’ll share as soon as San Francisco gives me a non jeans day. Beat it gloom!

Shop the rest of the look. Similar Tassel Necklace. Similar Vigoss Jeans. These Vince Camuto Booties are mostly sold out, but a few sizes here and here. I’m obsessed with the medium height, comfort, and versatility of these shoes. So, if your size is available snatch them up! Congrats to all my local peeps on a Golden State Warriors Championship! After 40 years, we did it.. and might I say, with style and dignity!

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sitting

Booties

Walking

White with Touches of Brights

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(Ray-Ban AviatorsGap shirt on sale for $7, Gap skinnies, cute clutch option, my necklace )

I love pairing neutrals like white jeans and a simple print top with pops of color. Especially if you are keeping the outfit classic and ladylike, as I did here for a recent lunch. The bright colors add a touch of playfulness.

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San Francisco is full of historical buildings that are rich and beautiful in architecture. I’ll always admire famous sites like the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Painted Ladies, but I’m constantly in awe of the cities lesser-known buildings. What are their stories? What were they like 100 years ago? Painted salmon pink, this building used to be the Love Chapel Church, but has recently closed down.The sign is still hanging, and I like to think that maybe one day the church will return. Once again, becoming a place of peace and hope for its people

Beautycounter: Keep the beauty not the toxins

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Recently, I had the pleasure of joining a Beautycounter social at a friend’s house in San Francisco. I’ve been to these types of gatherings, and maybe you have too. I’d be greeted with a glass of wine, great conversation with friends, and some new trendy product to indulge myself with. I love these type of female glam driven encounters. It’s a chance for me to engage with some brilliant women, indulge in pop culture, or share how my four-year old shut my two-year old in the closet, yet again. Of course my night included all the above, but I didn’t walk away with a new fabulous Stella and Dot necklace, or a cool piece from a new clothing line. Instead, I walked away with a greater knowledge of the cosmetic industry and the means to make wiser choices for my family.

Did you know, there hasn’t been a federal law passed since 1938 governing the cosmetics industry? I didn’t. Did you also know that the European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients from use in personal care products? No, again. Conversely, the US has banned or restricted a mere 11 ingredients. Those two numbers are vastly different, and don’t equate well for us Americans. This new information has left me feeling vulnerable and a bit cheated.

While I was gifted with samples of the skin care line to test and write about, my goal isn’t to sell you on Beautycounter’s products. The honest company speaks for itself by producing quality and safe products, but I’ll touch on some of my favorites at the end. What I’d rather touch on is why Beautycounter’s founder, Gregg Renfrew, is striving to make big changes in the cosmetics industry as we know it today. (Cool article on Gregg here)

As a mother, daughter, and beauty inspired young woman, I’m often looking at the newest product lines to take care of my family. I’m not just talking youth seeking lotions and potions to erase those little crows feet that are creeping up ever so diligently. I’m talking children’s products, toothpaste, detergents, makeup, hair care, body scrubs, and more. Women and men are saturated with options, but what do we really know about them? The average women uses 12 beauty products a day. “Natural”, “Organic”, and “Hypo-Allergenic” are meaningless with no regulation saying what that means. Fragrance is a trade secret so anyone can put anything in their fragrance and not disclose it. Did you know that two perfectly safe ingredients can create a very toxic bi-product and the cosmetic industry doesn’t have to say beans about it!? In all honesty, I don’t always choose the most natural ingredient, sometimes I choose what’s on sale, but I try to balance between the two. Knowing most products that claim to be “Natural” or “Organic” have a higher price tag, how frustrated would you be to discover you’re actually paying MORE of your hard-earned money for a product that might be MORE TOXIC for your family, than a product that doesn’t claim to be “Natural” or “Organic”. I’m not saying that these terms we see so often are never true, but I’m asking you the consumer, to rethink what we know to be safe.

“1 in 3 women” and “1 in 2 men” will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. What relation does the cosmetics industry have to these statistics? Clearly many factors contribute to an illness, but being able to avoid a carcinogenic product is a good thing, right? Shouldn’t the US help identify the least toxic options? 1938 was a long time ago, and something tells me we can ban more than 11 ingredients in 2014. Realistically, I know that my family will be exposed to toxins. That being said, Beautycounter’s goal is to reduce your exposure by running a strict screening process. In doing so, Beautycounter has created a “Never List” which has eliminated over 1500 ingredients that they will never use, nor any of their suppliers. I like this. They also strongly encourages you to check your products with www.ewg.org/skindeep. I did, and have already eliminated a few products from various brands that I was using in my household. Knowledge is power and I’m grateful for being invited to the Beautycounter event. It’s a priceless gift to be given information that changes the way you care for yourself and more importantly your innocent children. If anything, research your household items..be informed. So now, let’s talk the more light-hearted fun stuff, whoop whoop!

The line has many products, but I chose to test the following items listed below. I honestly loved them all, but the body lotion, night cream, and the oils were stand outs for me. Below are my notes for the products. Visit www.beautycounter.com to check out more.

  1. Kids Squeaky Clean – My kids were happy with this wash. My daughter has sensitive skin and never had an issue. No reactions, smells fresh, and doesn’t leave any residual product on the skin.
  2. Restorative Night Cream – Luxurious feeling and super hydrating. My skin felt balanced in the morning.
  3. Every Day AM Hydrating Cream – I loved the lightweight feel, and paired with the #2 oil it was great as a base for makeup.
  4. Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion – I LOVE LOVE this lotion. I’d use it after shaving and it made my legs so smooth.
  5. Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream – Jojoba beads paired with coconut oil made for a gentle exfoliation. I think this is a great option for sensitive skin types, like myself.
  6. Lustro Face Oil 2 – I love the oils from this line! I’d buy them all, and this one was perfect for day time. I’d mix two drops with my Every Day AM Hydrating Cream and it was hydrating without being greasy. I also felt like my pores looked smaller after using this oil. Great primer before makeup.
  7. Lustro Face Oil 3 – I used this oil at night three to four times a week. Again, I’d mix a drop or two with my Restorative Night Cream. The oil felt nourishing to my skin while soothing any irritations. None of the oils made me breakout, which can be a concern for users.

The products are fantastic and the companies efforts to create further transparency in the personal care industry is refreshing. If you have any additional questions about Beautycounter, feel free to contact me and I can put you in touch with a consultant. A special thank you to the beautiful Katrin for introducing me!